- 3 years
- 4 years with foundation year
Looking to start a career in music and sound production? Whatever your background, Solent University’s popular music production programme will enable you to deepen your skills in a wide range of areas – preparing you for a fantastic career as a music producer of the future.
The course explores three main areas of study: technical and musical foundations, music and sound production in studio and live settings, and employability in the music industry. These varied subjects enable you to gain a broad understanding of the industry, so when you graduate you’ll be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to kick-start your career.
Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to use a range of facilities including our specialist recording studios – each with top of the range software, facilities and instruments including: Pro Tools Ultimate and Logic digital audio workstations, Microphones by Neumann, AKG and Shure. Analog processing includes Neve, Universal Audio, Focusrite, Empirical Labs, and Portico. Instruments provided included Drums by DW and Mapex, a Moog Synthesiser, Korg Kronos, Marshall, Fender and Vox valve guitar amplifiers. Software includes Native Instruments Komplete, and Plugins by Sonnox, McDSP and Celemony. Live sound mixers include Allen and Heath DLive, Soundcraft Si, and Midas M32.
Thanks to the academic teams close links with industry, you will have the opportunity to attend guest lectures from visiting industry professionals. Speakers have recently included: Mike Moran, composer; Trevor Horn, Grammy award-winning producer; Sam Skirrow, Bass player; Rob Da Bank, DJ and festival organiser; Gary Langhan, sound engineer; and Mark Lawrence, CEO of The Association for Electronic Music. You'll also have the chance to work with local clients to develop your skills further, these clients have recently included the Joiners Live venue and BBC Introducing.
As a popular music production student you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the legendary Abbey Road studios, probably the most famous studio in the world, and talk to engineers at the top of the industry during a real recording session.
Why choose this course?
Extensive collection of musical instruments, high end microphones, pro tools and logic digital editing workstations, analogue processing, synthesisers and live sound mixers include Allen and Heath.
Learn from an enthusiastic and dedicated team of professional producers, composers, musicians, sound engineers and DJs with a wealth of international industry experience.
We’re a Music Academic Partner of UK Music, an Educational Associate of the Music Managers Forum and a member of Creative & Cultural Skills. These links mean students gain industry insight.
We have excellent links to Southampton’s vibrant local music scene, and work with the city’s best music venues including The Joiners, 1865, The Engine Rooms, O2 Guildhall, Heartbreakers and many more.
Solent’s collaborative culture encourages students to work on projects with students from other courses, reflecting the working practices of the creative industries.
Solent is home to world-class facilities, including multiple recording studios and a fully accredited Dolby Atmos cinema.
- Professional membership
You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree
- Foundation year available
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years
- Specialist facilities
This course has access to specialist facilities
- Further studies
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent
- Top-up option
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year
Who is this course for?
Solent’s music production programme is ideally suited to students who want to combine that unique mix of technical and musical skills, while developing an understanding of the industries that await them. Applicants should previously have studied music technology or a related subject, or be able to demonstrate some music making experience.
What does this course lead to?
Recent graduates have gone on to work in diverse areas such as live sound, game audio, recording studios, film and television sound, and technical support – working at organisations such as Bang Post-Production, Sony Music, Envy Post-Production, Global Documentary, Columbia Records, Metropolis Studios, EMI Music Licensing and Stage Miracles.
Meet the team
The course team are all active industry experts, with experience in areas such as music performance, studio and live sound, electronic sound design, music education, and the business and culture of music production.
The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.
Solent’s recording studios are state-of-the-art, and include Pro Tools Ultimate and Logic digital audio workstations. Microphones by Neumann, AKG and Shure. Analog processing includes Neve, Universal Audio, Focusrite, Empirical Labs, and Portico. Instruments provided included Drums by DW and Mapex, a Moog Synthesiser, Korg Kronos, Marshall, Fender and Vox valve guitar amplifiers. Software includes Native Instruments Komplete, and Plugins by Sonnox, McDSP and Celemony. Live sound mixers include Allen and Heath DLive, Soundcraft Si, and Midas M32.
Our vibrant campus brings state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning and elevate your student experience. Our award-winning teaching building, The Spark is centred around students and offers a stimulating study environment with flexible learning spaces. Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.
Come to an open day
Fancy a sneak peek? Take a look around!
Principles of Sound
This module provides a grounding in how sound behaves both acoustically, and when represented by electrical or digital means. An understanding of core concepts introduced here will benefit you in all music and sound related pursuits.
Introduction to Studio Recording 1
This module combines practical mixing and recording with the established and proven theories of how multitrack music is made.
Principles of Music
Practically all music contains structures and patterns which are readily communicated as a musical language. This module demystifies that language enabling you to understand existing music more deeply, and to communicate musical matters more clearly.
Introduction to Studio Recording 2
You will experience the challenges of recording a full band of musicians. You will also get the chance to continue developing your mixing skills, and to reflect on your project work.
Creative Music Industries
Key aspects of creativity, from songwriting and promotion, through to audiences and consumption are discussed and explained to enable you to understand the demands of the music industries.
Sampling Synthesis and Midi
This module explores some of the fundamental concepts in electronic sound synthesis, and how MIDI relates to the contemporary Digital Audio Workstation.
Advanced Studio Recording 1
You will learn to understand mix techniques and methods at a higher level to help you craft more engaging, lasting mixes.
Advanced Studio Recording 2
The complex mix of technical and creative skills makes music production a unique challenge. In this module you will explore how those seemingly different skillsets combine and complement each other.
Creative Sound Design
In this module you will expand your musical thinking into the world of film sound design. Whether through music or sound effects, films rely heavily on sound added post production; this module gives you the chance to develop skills required for sound in visual media.
Live Music Production
The live music sector provides significant employment opportunities in many different areas. In this module you experience the thrill of working in a live event team on your own themed music event in real city venue.
Music Portfolio Careers
In this module through research and enquiry, supported by the music team, you will investigate the many and varied income streams available to you.
Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.
Advanced Live Music Production
This module explores the advanced elements required for successful live music productions and further explores advanced live music production scenarios.
Music and Sound for Games
In the module, you will consider composition within an interactive sonic background and create and/or edit sound effects for video games using industry standard software.
In this module you will undertake a major research project in an area of your choosing. It may take a variety of forms and is negotiated with support and feedback from module tutors who will discuss and approve project proposals.
Advanced Music Production
As well as advanced production techniques such as mastering, this module will examine how you can solve practical production problems and present your findings in a video or interactive format designed to train others.
Live Project Brief
Freelance work forms the basis of much of our industry, yet many clients are reluctant to take a chance on new sound engineers or producers. This module helps you get a freelance client as a first step in building your portfolio of clients.
Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.
You will experience recent and emerging technological developments including 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos. The issues in mixing music and film sound will be examined and you will learn how to achieve effective mixes in these formats.
Live Event Technology
You will obtain an appreciation of the many factors that need to be accounted for in putting on live events, and will be able to select tools and techniques appropriate to a variety of contexts, setups and situations encountered.
Live Sound Technologies
In this module you'll gain an appreciation of the factors that need to be accounted for in specifying, configuring and operating professional sound reinforcement systems and will be able to select tools and techniques appropriate to a variety of settings.
Experimental Music Production
The module develops and enhances student skills in music production by exploring the creative manipulation of sound, and alternative approaches to music making. If you want to challenge the usual habits and conventions in music production, this module will guide and inspire you.
How you will learn and be assessed
You will learn by:
- Collaborative Learning
- Directed Learning
- Guided Learning
You may be assessed by a combination of:
- Individual presentations
- Group presentations
- Music theory exercises
- Video submissions
Solent’s curriculum framework builds on our unique, creative and applied approach to teaching. The transformation of students’ lives is at the heart of our mission as a university, and our curriculum – informed by the latest theory – reflects this shared educational vision.Find out more
The student achievement team are on hand to help you succeed during your studies at Solent. They aim to contact you at key times during your time here with personalised information, advice and guidance, by email or phone.
Access Solent provides information, advice and guidance for disabled students.
All students can access Succeed@Solent, Solent's online guide to getting better grades. It offers extensive, practical information and advice on topics such as academic writing, research and presentations.
Why choose the industry?
The growth in the range of media outlets and the live event sector means that the best sound and music professionals are in high demand. In addition, the entrepreneurial nature of the industry means that there are opportunities to be created if you have the drive and skills. This course gives you a chance to begin building your networks of contacts and practice your skills so you can pursue the wide and varied career opportunities in music and sound production.
The tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year are:
- UK, EU (settled status) and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
- International full-time fees: £14,250 per year
For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.
Extra course costs
While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2022/23 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:
You will be required to purchase a pair of good quality headphones, which cost between £40 and £150.
Optional trips to music performances are based on ticket prices and current transport costs.
Bursaries, scholarships and financial support
Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.
There is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket is currently £15. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Financial information videos
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Key entry requirements
96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent
- A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM, a T-Level Pass (C+), or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
- Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
- Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
- For further information about UK qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Key entry requirements
As a general guide, we look for qualifications that are equivalent to the British high school A-levels.
If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
For further information about EU qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Key entry requirements
For further information about international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Note to all international students requiring a visa:
All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.
We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.
How to apply
Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.
Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.
Your application should reach UCAS by 26 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.
Alternative entry options
We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us
Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:
- IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
- TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
- Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.
Pre-Sessional English programme
The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.
We will prepare you for your future
Suitable roles for graduates include
- Music producer
- Live sound engineer
- Mix engineer
- Film sound editor
- Game sound designer
- Events organiser
- Music publishing
- Arts administrator
- Music technician
- Music and sound entrepreneur
- Music education
- Postgraduate study
We will help you start your career
The Solent Futures team is committed to getting students into great careers.
While you are studying, the team can help you with finding work experience or placements, link you with a mentor, check your CV, or offer one-to-one guidance.
If you're in your final year, we also have graduate job opportunities just for Solent graduates.Find out more
Support at Solent
All students at Solent University have access to a range of specialist support services. Whether you are having financial difficulty, need additional help with academic skills or want advice on setting up your own business you'll find that help is always on hand.
Most of our specialist support services are based around the Student Hub, a central space where you can access all the information and support you may need during your time at University. The Student Hub is the first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your course, including questions about your timetable, options, and assessments and extenuating circumstances.